HP Mini 2140 and Sony Vaio P - a possible Apple MacBook ultra-portable substitute

I’m waiting for many years now for Apple to release a sub-notebook replacement for the formerly quite handy 12″ PowerBook that is EOL from Apple’s side.

However, for some reason Apple is just not getting one pushed out. The only thing they want to sell to us is this awful MacBook Air that is just thin, but not sub-sized and due it’s outside dimensions not too useful in a plane or otherwise abroad (at least for my use cases, anyway).

Thanks to some PC vendors sub-notebooks finally start to reach a decent quality to fill this gap:

Booth the Sony Vaio VGN-P and the HP Mini 2140 are reasonably sized (or tiny), with still a decently sized keyboard to type and of good build quality. Booth also worth a second look.

While the Sony Vaio achives an amazingly tiny outer dimension it even comes with an ultra low voltage Aton Z5xx that additionally features the VT extension and results in a quite reasonable battery life for this pocket PC (nearly 4h on the standard, and up to about 8h with an optional higher capacity battery pack). Despite it’s super tiny size it even brings a WWAN - 3G - chip and GPS! The only downsides are the exorbitant price (in Germany anyway) and Intel’s Pulsbo chipset with PowerVR graphic for which there exists no open source accelerated graphic driver, yet.

The HP Mini 2140 on the other hand is a less expensive choice, but less compact. The regular Atom used, however, features neither 64bit nor VT. While it comes without 3G and GPS, it is of pretty reasonable built quality and design. Over its preceedor (the HP Mini 2133) it also increases the display size to a reasonable level (up from 8 inch to 10) and replaced the aging and hot VIA C7 CPU with the Intel Atom that has slightly more power and runs cooler. While keeping the superb keyboard and compact touchpad (with buttons on the side).

Though I got hands on some pre-sales models of booth I will still have to wait for regular sales to kick in in Germany, as well as the HD screen option for the HP Mini 2140 (1366×768, instead of the SD 1024×600 model) to become available at all.

Well - and while I continue to wait for those to become available, who knows what else is happening on the market till then: VIA Nano anyone? Endurable case design from another vendor, too?

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